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12-man Asian Games roster named

ANDRAY Blatche

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has named the 12 players who will play in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea next month.

Absent from the roster are veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag, center Marcus Douthit, Beau Belga and Jay Washington.

Reyes used his Twitter account to make the announcement.

Nine members of the team that won the silver in the FIBA Asia Championship in Manila last year made the roster. They are Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, Gary David, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Japeth Aguilar and June Mar Fajardo.

They will be joined by Paul Lee, Jared Dillinger and Andray Blatche, an NBA veteran player who was naturalized recently.

Japeth Aguilar

The deadline for the submission of lineup in the Asian Games is Aug. 15, the same day – according to reports – that Reyes is likely to announce his roster for the World Cup.

It’s not certain if Gilas Pilipinas will have the same lineup for the World Cup.

Sources said Reyes might tweak his team to give Alapag a chance to don the national colors in the World Cup.

Reports said Alapag gave up his post in favor of the six-foot-one Lee.

The 25-year-old Lee, who has blossomed into one of the top guards in the PBA with Rain or Shine, buried three pressure-packed free throws with no time left that clinched the bronze medal for the Nationals against host China in the Wuhan FIBA Asia Cup last month.

“I’m happy that I’ll play for the national team in the Asian Games,” said Lee. “Just to be part of the training pool is already big for me, what more with the chance to represent the country in a competition.”

Since the Asia Cup, Lee has consistently improved under the ‘dribble-drive’ system of Reyes.

Douthit’s exclusion was a foregone conclusion the moment he signed up for the job. Douthit has been playing for the national team since 2011.

In all FIBA sanctioned events, only one naturalized player is allowed to reinforce a national team.